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China threatens ‘strategic troubles’ in case India joins US alliance system

Defence Secretary Ash Carter listens at left as Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar speaks during their joint news conference at the Pentagon. (Photo courtesy: AP Photo|Jacquelyn Martin)
Defence Secretary Ash Carter listens at left as Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar speaks during their joint news conference at the Pentagon. (Photo courtesy: AP Photo|Jacquelyn Martin)

(TibetanReview.net, Sep01, 2016) – China, which is known to have nuclear armed India’s arch-rival Pakistan has on Aug 30 warned New Delhi against “hastily” joining “the US alliance system,” for “it may irritate China, Pakistan or even Russia”, while not making India feel any safer. An editorial in the Global Times, China’s international party mouthpiece, said joining such an alliance “will bring strategic troubles to (India) itself and make itself a centre of geopolitical rivalries in Asia.”

In particular, the editorial described the signing by India and the United States on Aug 30 of a long-discussed defence logistics support agreement as “a leap forward” in defence ties and added that any future move by India to join the US “alliance system” would bring it “strategic troubles”.

The editorial took the view that the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) deal which would give both sides access to bases and military logistics support was “undoubtedly a leap forward in US-India military cooperation”.

The editorial made it clear, however, that it was only issuing a warning for India’s future course of action, for it did not see the deal as reflecting a change in India’s “prudent” balancing strategy or a loss of “strategic independence” that “may render New Delhi a ‘follower’ of Washington”.

In fact, the editorial directed its main anger against the USA, saying, “Washington has deliberately wooed New Delhi to become its quasi ally so as to impose geopolitical pressure on China”.

And it offered suggestions for India, saying, New Delhi “will not lean toward the US, because it will not only hurt India’s self-esteem, more importantly, India can gain more strategic benefits by striking a balance between China and the US.”

It continued that rather than joining any bloc, India would gain from “strategic maneuvering”, pointing out that New Delhi had “remained cool to the idea” of Japan’s push for a quadrilateral alliance between the US, Japan, Australia and India.

The editorial suggested that India continue to practice the principles of non-alignment advocate by its elites since independence and doubted whether it will gain much from aligning with the USA. It said, “It is possible that the Modi administration is trying an unconventional way to lean towards the US with the logistics agreement. But how close the US-India relationship can be and what geopolitical values it can get remains a question.”

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